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5 reasons to start a cloud computing career

An illustration of 5 ethernet cables plugged into a cloud

At a glance

  • Cloud computing is a growing field in technology that relies on shared resources hosted at remote data centers rather than local servers or installed software.
  • A report found that 57% of surveyed participants relied on cloud computing to store data.
  • Specializing in cloud computing can give you versatility in your career. Industries ranging from banking and finance to healthcare and shipping all rely on cloud computing.
  • Discover how a Cloud Computing Certificate from University of Phoenix can prepare you for industry certifications!

Cloud computing relies on shared resources hosted at remote data centers rather than local servers and installed software. Users access storage, databases, software and applications through the internet instead of installing them on a hard drive via download or disk.

The primary advantage of this approach is that it does not require organizations to maintain their own data centers and servers. Individuals who use cloud services do not need to download, install or update the software on their computers and devices because everything is updated and maintained off-site.

Prepare for an IT career — and have the freedom to learn when you want online, 24/7/365. 

In this way, cloud computing reduces the cost of IT operations by limiting on-site requirements and reducing the need for specialized staff to maintain hardware and update software. Cloud computing can be particularly useful in an era when remote work is so popular. Companies can store data and files in the cloud and allow employees to access them at any time through a remote connection. Multiple employees can also collaborate on documents or other projects from separate locations.

It is also possible to host software, applications or virtual desktops on a cloud-based platform, allowing users to access and use the tools even though they have not downloaded them on their computer or device. 

So, as more businesses realize the benefits associated with cloud computing, there becomes a need for professionals to enter the field. Here is a deeper look at reasons why tech-minded people may consider a career in cloud computing.

The potential demand for cloud skills

Cloud computing is more than a trend. Enterprises are making it an integral part of their business operations. In 2022, a report found 57% of companies prioritized migrating workloads to cloud environments, while 42% focused on moving to cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) instead of relying on software and digital systems installed on-site.

These investments coincide with a demand for skilled cloud computing professionals. And those professionals can build a variety of skills. For example, cybersecurity specialists focus on keeping data safe. Network engineers, architects and administrators, on the other hand, have a different focus and projection. Those professionals focus on building, designing and maintaining cloud systems.

IT professionals who are working on a degree, seeking their first entry-level job or already employed can pursue a cloud computing certificate to learn about cloud computing.

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Work in a variety of industries

Cloud computing is becoming more common in many industries, and as of 2022, is quickly taking up the majority of data storage solutions, with 60% of all corporate data being stored on the cloud. Here are some of the well-known industries adopting cloud platforms for their operations.

  • Banking and finance companies rely on cloud computing to streamline access for clients and customers and establish multi-layer security that makes fraud easier to detect.
  • Schools use cloud platforms to facilitate online learning. These systems allow students to access learning materials and attend lectures and workshops remotely. The cloud can also make testing and assignment submissions more efficient and give students more choices about the classes they wish to take and the resources they can access.
  • The healthcare sector uses cloud-based platforms to collect and store patient records, so providers have easy access while still complying with HIPAA regulations.
  • Streaming and entertainment companies rely on cloud systems to provide music and videos to customers without requiring them to download media to their computers or devices. Major industry players use cloud platforms to deliver media to subscribers.
  • Retailers use cloud computing to create a real-time data stream of sales and inventory. This tracking allows them to respond quickly to supply or staffing needs and provides early warning about potential shortages. It can also help automate the tracking of finances, sales tax records and other accounting.
  • The shipping industry uses cloud computing to track shipments, adjust schedules and receive an early warning about potential issues further down the supply chain that may alter their plans. 

You can find hands-on cloud computing roles in all these different industries. And cloud professionals may also find that their skills are transferable. For example, network support specialists and technicians are necessary to ensure access to the cloud and troubleshoot if problems arise.

All organizations needing to migrate their systems from on-site software and server models to the cloud need cloud network engineers to handle the transformation and make any necessary customizations.

Cloud computing career paths

If cloud computing interests you, there are several roles that utilize these skills. Here are just a few tech jobs that you might find in the cloud industry:

  • Programmers* — Programmers create applications and software for use in the cloud or customize existing systems so that they meet their employer’s needs.
  • DevelopersSoftware developers can work directly on cloud systems, updating and customizing the software that companies use and offering customized solutions that meet the needs of their employers or clients.
  • Information security specialists — Information security specialists may find work for cloud providers and companies using cloud services. Providers need to ensure security for their clients, which means constantly updating protection measures. Meanwhile, corporations using these services want to ensure secure connections that help them avoid breaches that could compromise data and systems.

*University of Phoenix does not educationally prepare students to become programmers at this time.

Potential benefits of cloud computing careers

Cloud computing is a field with many opportunities for fulfillment. Here are just a few possible perks of choosing this career.

  • The ability to move between industries — Since the structure, needs and components of cloud systems are the same in every industry, you can easily change from sector to sector, learning about different industries along the way.
  • Opportunities with third-party service providers — In addition to working in an in-house IT department as a network administrator or systems engineer, qualified cloud experts can find jobs with third-party companies offering SaaS, platform as a service (PaaS), and storage or analytics services.
  • Hybrid or remote work arrangements — Depending on a company’s policies, cloud workers may be able to manage their duties remotely.

A degree in a relevant tech field is the first step toward one of these growing technical careers. Common degrees for this field are a Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.

Specialize in a specific area of cloud computing

Cloud computing allows you to specialize in a specific area, which can increase your attractiveness to certain employers seeking particular skills.

One option for learning specific skills is to pursue a bachelor’s degree in IT. This course of study will expose you to the subjects that are essential for IT success, including cybersecurity, systems analysis and IT operations.

A degree provides an introduction to these vital cloud-related subjects. You can then hone your skills in security, database administration or software engineering, depending on your area of interest and skills.

You can also focus on unique specialties, like big data, which involves collecting, processing and using huge amounts of information collected by a company or organization.

In addition to continuing education programs, you can use boot camps and industry certification programs to learn new skills and get additional credentials that can help you stand out in a specific area. 

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Opportunities for job flexibility and telecommuting

Cloud computing offers a variety of job opportunities that go beyond what graduates and professionals can expect from most careers. In addition to in-house, office-based IT department jobs, cloud experts can pursue different arrangements, such as working from home.

For example, third-party providers offer SaaS and PaaS subscriptions to companies and organizations. Many smaller companies take advantage of these services instead of investing in an on-site IT team.

Cloud computing workers may also find freelance and contract opportunities. Some companies seek specialists for specific tasks, such as migrating company databases to the cloud. Systems engineers with the ability to perform this task are in high demand, especially with small or mid-size firms without the budget or need for a full-time engineer on staff. Such opportunities give cloud specialists with enough experience the chance to build their own businesses based on their skills.

Many cloud companies seek the best talent regardless of location. Developers, administrators, engineers and security specialists are often able to work remotely because their duties involve configuring, programming and monitoring the cloud, which they can do from any location with a stable internet connection. Telecommuting arrangements may be attractive to people who want the ability to work from home.

The field of cloud computing will likely continue to grow as more companies and organizations try to take advantage of the scalability, efficiency and lower costs of cloud-based systems. Professionals with general IT degrees, professional certifications, training and specific knowledge of cloud systems or related specialties can take advantage of this trend and may find rewarding jobs in the field.

Cloud computing and IT programs at University of Phoenix

If you’re interested in pursuing a job in information technology or learning more about cloud computing, University of Phoenix offers various online degrees and certificates in the following fields of study. 

  • Cloud Computing Certificate (Undergraduate) — Storing data in the cloud makes it easy to access information. But businesses still depend on qualified professionals to do the hard part: setting everything up. Gain the foundational knowledge and skills to help organizations build and manage cloud services. Coursework in this program is aligned to industry certification exams like those for Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud Practitioner, Cloud Developer and SysOps Administrator.
  • Associate of Arts in Information Technology — This program introduces information technology concepts and principles in programming, data analytics, cybersecurity and networking. Learn the essential foundation of technical skills for the IT field.
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science — This degree program teaches how to apply information technology theory and principles to real-world business challenges. Advanced concepts in math, programming and computer architecture are covered.
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity — This program teaches top skills such as security policies, network security, information systems security and cybersecurity.
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology — This program is designed to teach top skills such as business process, cybersecurity, information systems, operations and systems analysis.
  • Master of Information Systems — Go beyond building computers and managing your queues. Learn technical and leadership skills necessary for developing and managing information systems

 

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